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Last weekend I actually harvested some compost from the bin because it was totally full. I’m saving it for spring (I put it in an old storage container in the garage), but I still have a hard time mushing everything down after emptying out the bottom (I really need to get a compost turner or something). So this weekend while I was out I made a point to go and try to turn and mix the compost to get some more room for adding food waste over the winter (I don’t add as much food during the summer because it gets SO full with yard waste, plus I can’t use my nifty pre-storage container because if you forget about it outside for like a day when it’s hot, it gets NASTY, which kind of negates the point of it. I use it in the winter, though).
Anyway…as I’m turning things, the first thing I notice is the plants I have composted that WILL NOT DIE. Those would be the lemon grass and spike plants. Way to make me feel guilty for composting you, guys. Thanks.
So after that I’m rooting around mixing things up and I pull up two tubers. Hm, I think. They look like they’re attached to the decorative sweet potato vine that practically overtook my deck all summer. I figure meh, maybe I can save the tubers and use them next year or something. They’d be hard to compost anyway. So I stuff them in a pot nearby that has some soil in it to deal with later. As I keep digging I find another bigger one and realize DUH – it’s a sweet potato vine. They’re sweet potatoes! They were not there when I threw the vine in (at least if they were, they were tiny), so that means they’ve grown while in there.
According to this thread on GardenWeb, they are edible. I’m kind of tempted to try it. I am already overrun with sweet potatoes though. I got a few from my mom and then we got like a TON from the CSA last week (I forgot to take pics). They keep forever, but I have nowhere to keep them in my small kitchen/house, so I’m now on the lookout for a very specifically-sized basket or something so I have a place to keep them. I basically have a whole CSA box full, which is a lot, trust me.
So good news, folks: Apparently you can grow potatoes in your compost bin! Who knew?
I cleaned up the garden last weekend. Here are some before and after shots of that, and later some before and after shots comparing May to now. There are still a few annuals that I left in the ground – those are the ones that both still look OK and won’t be a pain to clean up when they are finally done for.
And what does all that stuff equal?
I actually thrwe a few MORE things on after I took the pic! Not quite sure what to do with it I ended up throwing some of the huge cosmos in the woods (maybe they’ll reseed and be pretty there next year?). I guess I should throw some more of what’s there in the woods as well, and there’s so much that I think I’m going to get some compost activator as well. I have some ready compost in the bottom, but not a ton, so I’m going to leave it in to use in the spring.
PS – Hi to all you blotanical readers! I finally got around to signing up, and I’ve gotten many warm greetings already. So warm and fuzzy you all are!
…I will peruse these pics I took while gardening on Saturday. I am actually future-posting this from Saturday. As you are reading this, I am at a hip hop class 🙂 (oh how I miss dance!!)
I love this pic of my flowering quince! Sky and grass, shadow and sun. I previously had the quince in bud form as my desktop wallpaper (from this post), but now I’ve switched to the below pic. Much less fall, much more spring!
The pansies are a little worse for the wear after the snow and awfulness earlier in the month. But this one is still giving up some pretty blooms.
This crocus bloom is on its last leg, but I kinda like how big the yellow bits in the middle are (I should know my flower parts). nice contrast.
And last, enjoy a totally boring pic of my compost area. One goal this summer is to use the outdoor fireplace more! Note the lawn, fresh off its first mow of the season. Wildflowers are going to go on the other side of the shed, facing the road, this year. In the pot are is some lily of the valley my mom gave me, which was passed along from my granny. Irreplacable plants! They’re just starting to sprout, too.
Today was gorgeous. A bit cold at first, but topped out in the upper 60s. Perfect for getting some stuff done! I’d been leaving last year’s junk on the perennials to protect them for the few frosts we’ll still have – but now the perennials have nudged well over that protection anyway, so no reason to get rid of the ugly stuff.
I also decided on a final place for the composter (note – I just added “composter” to my Firefox dictionary. No more red squiggly lines! Firefox needs to get their gardening words in check!). Behind the shed and mostly out of view, but still gets mostly full sun and close enough to the house that I won’t procrastinate toooo much putting food scraps in. So here’s what I did today:
1. Decided on a spot for the composter.
2. Filled composter with a layer of sticks at the bottom per instructions, then leaves and nonsense, then dirt and some already mostly composted stuff from a pile of crap we I’d had behind the shed (leaves, old plants, old potting soil, etc) and one in the driveway (same stuff). Also some stuff (but not all, or uh, it would already be full. oops?) from the below chores.
3. Cut the old junk off the massive aster that I did not know last year needed to be pinched like a mum. Also pulled junk from other asters, mums, and gaura. Potted one little sucker with roots that I accidentally separated from the aster. We’ll see if it survives. I had an empty pot with dirt from deceased pansies, so I figured I’d give the bugger a chance.
4. Pulled off old foliage from daylilies. This amounts to a TON of old foliage omg.
5. Raked leaves from beds in places where they tend to get stuck in giant piles and sit all wet and gross. Some of these went in composter, some went in woods. Flower beds look MUCH happier now.
6. Moved potted tree saplings from side bed to edge of driveway/parking lot along bed. All kinds of nasty buggy things were living under there because they weren’t sitting on anything, just right in the mulch. Ick. Also sprayed to death what looked like termite larvae (thankfully not in the bed near the house) from under one. Note – need to do grub/crabgrass treatment next weekend!!
7. Put plants on new plant stand on deck (yay – more space for plants and yet still looks neater!).
8. Contemplated doing this. If so, where, and what could I do to the sides to make it prettier? Mortar/mosaic on some rustic stones? Yes, I know I can also do a reg raised bed with wood, esp since we just bought a circular saw. But for some reason I’m in love with the little extra compartments, and the fact I wouldn’t need hubby’s help if I want to do it during a weekend he’s working. we have a couple flat, sunny yard spots that are mostly weeds and not grass and are fairly out of view.
You may notice that there are no pics. I thought several times I should go get my cam, but never did. I was workin, man! Also, you will note that this fulfills my pledge from my last post that there would be no seedling pics. (I will give you a seedling update though. I took them out for a few hours in the late afternoon sun and breeze. I’m certain they loved it. They’re now safely back on top of the fridge. And the nasturtiums are already working on second leaf sets!)